Delhi High Court
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Delhi HC issues notice in plea to operate green crematoriums to dispose of bodies of those dead due to COVID-19

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court yesterday issued notice in a petition by an NGO which offered to operationalize 'Green Crematoriums' to dispose of the bodies of those who have died on account of COVID-19. (Moksha Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti vs NDMA & Anr)

Notice to the Delhi Government and National Disaster Management Authority was issued by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan in a petition by NGO Moksha Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti.

In the petition filed through Advocate Gaurav Bansal, the Petitioner informed the Court that it has installed 46 Green Crematoriums in the country, out of which 16 are in Delhi.

In view of the reports on piling up of dead bodies of COVID-19 patients, the Petitioner offered to facilitate the disposal of bodies at Nigambodh Ghat which has 6 of such Green Crematoriums.

The Petitioner stated that it was willing to provide a team of 4 persons to facilitate as many as 24 cremations in a day.

Yesterday, the Court also heard its suo motu petition concerning disposal of COVID-19 positive dead bodies and took on record a status report filed by the Delhi Government.

On the last date of hearing, the Court had asked the Delhi Government to explain the slow rate of disposal of bodies.

The Delhi Government informed that the delay was on account of the relatives not turning up to claim the bodies on the same day.

From June 3, the backlog was being cleared on a war footing, the Delhi Government said.

Amongst other things, the Delhi Government also informed that an advisory committee of eminent experts under Section 17 of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority Act had also been constituted to consider various experts of COVID-19 management.

It was also pointed out that a team sent by the National Human Rights Commission visited the Emergency and other Wards with COVID-19 patients but no issues of bodies lying in corridors or patients not being attended to were flagged.

After the Government sought more time to file a further report, the matter was adjourned.

The Court also adjourned a contempt plea filed by one Avadh Kaushik against the Chief Secretary, Delhi Government for not complying with the directions passed by the Court in the suo motu petition.

All three petitions will be heard next on June 29.

Delhi Government was represented by ASG Sanjay Jain with Additional Standing Counsel Sanjoy Ghose and Advocate Rishabh Jetley.

Read the Orders:

Moksha Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti vs NDMA & Anr.pdf
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Court on its motion vs NCT of Delhi - Disposal of dead bodies - June 15.pdf
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Avadh Kaushik vs Vijay Kumar Dev - Order June 15.pdf
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